“Human life is sacred and inviolable at every moment of existence, including the initial phase which precedes birth. All human beings, from their mother’s womb, belong to God who searches them and knows them, who forms them and knits them together with his own hands, who gazes on them when they are tiny shapeless embryos and already sees in them the adults of tomorrow whose days are numbered and whose vocation is even now written in the ‘book of life.’ There too, when they are still in their mothers’ womb—as many passages of the Bible bear witness—they are the personal objects of God’s loving and fatherly providence.” (Evangelium Vitae, 61).
Blessed John Paul II in his 1995 Encyclical Evangelium Vitae called on all Catholic faithful to bear witness to the Gospel of Life and to build the “civilization of life and love.” (100). In keeping with this mission and our Order’s Catholic principles of charity, unity, and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus stands strong in its conviction that every human life is a gift of God, endowed with certain inalienable rights—the first among these being the right to life. Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, we believe that human life is sacred and inviolable, and ought to be defended with maximum determination. To this end, the Knights of Columbus supports policies that promote a Culture of Life and opposes legislative efforts that promote abortion, contraception, sterilization, cloning, the destruction of embryos, assisted suicide, euthanasia, unjust war, and the death penalty when there is an acceptable alternative.
Our Order’s steadfast defense and promotion of a Culture of Life is grounded on our ultimate assurance that in the natural law written in the heart of every person is the recognition that human life is sacred from its very beginning to its end. In the depths of our consciousness, human intellect knows that the very source of its existence—i.e. human life—ought to be protected and celebrated. In that regard, the message of the Knights of Columbus extends far beyond our Order and our religious creed; it is a universal message that every person of good will can come to affirm.
The right to life is unlike any other right. It is the most basic right and the condition of all other personal rights, constituting the foundation of every human community and the political community itself. Blessed John Paul II famously noted that if human life itself is not respected, then respect for all other rights—for example, the right to health, to marriage, to culture, to religion—is “false and illusory.” Human rights of every kind are “incomprehensible” without the right to life. Our Order, therefore, joins the universal Church in acknowledging the dignity of human life and in its efforts to achieve legal and constitutional protection for every human person at the international, national, state, and local levels.
We are a people of Life and For Life
The Knights of Columbus remains firmly committed to defending the right to life of every human being, from the moment of conception to natural death. Our Council and our individual Knights conduct projects aimed to build a culture of life in our communities. One of the most successful of the Order’s initiatives in this area is the Ultrasound Initiative though which Our Council has partnered with the Supreme Council in sharing the cost of purchasing ultrasound machines for pregnancy resource centers in our local area.
What we choose to do, or not do, about abortion, euthanasia, human cloning and embryonic research impacts lives for generations to come. Take action now and support a culture that values human life at all stages.
Volunteer. Your valuable time can save precious lives. Contact a local pro-life pregnancy center to find out how you can help women choose life and turn away from abortion. You can also support programs that work with women who have been physically and emotionally wounded by abortion.
Educate . Share your knowledge with others who may not fully understand the value of all human life, or take it upon yourself to find out more, so you can be a more effective witness for life.
Advocate. Work to change laws and touch hearts. Support your council’s pro-life committee, and start a pro-life group in your parish if there isn’t one already. Consult your diocese’s pro-life office to find out issues of concern, and write or meet with your local and national elected officials to discuss legislation.
Donate.Your personal donation, and funds from our Council, could make a big difference in the shoestring budgets of local pro-life organizations. Locate the pregnancy center in our area and arrange a regular donation schedule that will help these groups provide pregnant women with counseling services, medical referrals and basic items for newborns.
Pray. Prayer is the power that should support all of our pro-life activities. Pray for life personally and with your family. Our council included prayers for life at its regular meetings and takes part in the annual Day of the Unborn Child on the feast of the Annunciation.
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